Noir. This one's been out for a year or two. From Bee Train studios, the makers of //hack.SIGN and Madlax. Impression: Liked it, but. 26 episodes, and probably should have been 13. Similar to Madlax in many ways, but not as good. Characters aren't as interesting, graphics aren't as good, music is good (I just got the OST from CD Japan), but not as good as Madlax's music. The main plot doesn't kick in until around episode 20, and I didn't find it all that interesting. This is a cute-girls-with-guns show, and there is an awful lot of gunplay. Bodies fall by the dozens in each episode, but rarely do they mean anything: they're just a bunch of spear carriers for the heroines to shoot. After a while the viewer doesn't care any longer. It's no longer impressive. In many ways, this show seems like journeyman work for Madlax.
Bleach. From a popular Shounen Jump manga. Currently airing in Japan, being fansubbed. Watched the first episode. Smart-mouthed high school punk gets turned into a shinigami to fight monsters. ::yawn:: Some moments of seriousness, but an awful lot of slapstick and people-yelling-at-each-other comedy. Reminds me of Yu Yu Hakusho, which I didn't like either. From Studio Pierrot, which also did YYH years ago, along with a ton of other stuff. This show seems to be very popular (there are over 3000 on the Episode 1 torrent now), but it's not for me. I think the Naruto fans like it. I didn't like Naruto either.
Otogizushi. Samurai drama from Sunrise studios, set in Heian Japan. Only two episodes were fansubbed before the show was licensed. I've watched them both. Good production values. About half of each episode was samurai action, the rest was political intrigue. Political intrigue generally bores me. It was one of the reasons I didn't like the later Amber books. Samurai action I like a little better. I like Otogizushi, but not enough to buy the DVD's. If it comes to Adult Swim, I might record it. Might.
Oh, yeah, the protag is a girl who dresses as a boy (at least while she's traveling in dangerous territory), but it seems to be more male-oriented fan service (note the river bathing scene that closes the first episode) than an attempt to say anything about gender.
Interlude. Three 40-minute OAV's from Toei. Uh, this is a mess. Good production values, but dei ex machina out the wazoo, two female characters with immense bouncing boobs, completely unconvincing ontological riffing delivered as an infodump monologue, "cozy catastrophe" and shounen harem rolled into one, and a KOR-like choice for the protagonist. Why can't the guy ever pick the genki one? "Did not work for me." Girls with bows and arrows are cool, but Aya and her bow just aren't enough to save this thing.
Kono Minikuku mo Utsukushii Sekai ("This Ugly and Beautiful World"). This 12 episode series from Gainax is about extinction events and fan service, but mainly fan service. You get the obligatory onsen episode. The obligatory episode at the beach, so the female cast can be put in swim suits. Ten episodes of fan service, followed by two episodes about extinction events. No, no, no, Gainax, just stop, please. First Mahoromatic, now this. How the mighty have fallen since the days of Evangelion and Gunbuster. (BTW, there seems to be a Gunbuster TV show in the works. Heaven only knows whether it will be any good, but I'm worried.)
Outstanding production values, as you would expect from Gainax. I did watch this thing all the way to the end. But it was like eating twelve bon bons. Ewww, why did I do that? Talk about empty calories. Gainax has some very technically talented people on board, but I wish they'd use their powers for good, not evil.
Mai HiME. From Sunrise. 'HiME' is, god help us, an Engrish acronym. Currently airing in Japan. One episode is out, and being fansubbed by three groups. The Shining Fansubs version I watched had terrible visual quality with lots of artifacting and judder; probably due to lousy raws. This show seems to be about cute girls, magic, and mecha. I dunno, this episode just didn't thrill me. Too much emphasis on things blowing up and cuteness, I think. Although, a girl who can cut a cruise ship in half with a sword definitely gets my attention. And the show's got that 'chosen one' fantasy that keeps surfacing. (Kono Minikuku and Bleach use it, too.) Because the child in all of us desperately to believe he's special. That he is chosen by the gods. That he has hidden powers just waiting to be released. That his Destiny will descend from the sky, instead of his having to earn it by toil and tears, just like everyone else who has ever achieved anything. Bleah. Stupid pandering fantasy.
There are no princes. There are no princesses. There is no Chosen One. The Mandate of Heaven must be earned, bitch.
No, I didn't like the Chosen One crap in the Harry Potter books, either. Fie on the Chosen One! Fie, I say!
I'm going to give Mai HiME one or two more episodes, but if it doesn't shape up fast, I'm outta here.
Most of the other offerings this fall seem to be H-game spinoffs. There's just nothing that looks very promising.
I want more Windy Tales. But no more have been subbed yet. ::pout:: I want to see Samurai Champloo, but it was licensed before it even aired, and god knows when it will make it to the US.
I'm going to buy the Juuni Kokki DVDs. I liked that show a lot in the fansubs. I want to watch it again, and see the rest of it. Also want to see the rest of BtVS. I watched the first couple of episodes when it first aired, wasn't impressed, then lost track of it until after it got popular. Watched Seasons 5 and 6, liked it a lot, but thought Season 7 sucked. I suspect there's a lot of good stuff that I missed, in between. eBay's full of the DVD's for reasonable prices. A lot seem to be Chinese bootlegs, but some are the legal release.
Why doesn't the MPAA, which is so psychopathic about the file sharers, care about the bootleggers? It makes no sense. Maybe they can't do anything about people in mainland China, but can't they at least get eBay to pull auctions of clearly illegal material?
== shokun == "Ladies and gentlemen...", "My
|Left radical is 'words' (言). Right radical is 'person' (者), acting phonetically to express 'many'. This character originally meant 'many/various words'; now means various things more generally. Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Person's words are many and various.'|